Bad News For Bible Thumpers: New Evidence Confirms The “Gay Gene” Exists

It was July 1993. American geneticist Dean Hamer shocked the world when he released a study that suggested the existence of a “gay gene.” The gene, Hamer said, was on the X chromosome and passed on by the mother.

Hamer’s findings were controversial because they offered scientific evidence that (gasp!) being gay wasn’t a choice.

In the 20 years since the release of that groundbreaking study, others have been conducted that offer contradictory results. Bible thumpers and homophobes alike have often either denied Hamer’s research or mocked it. In 2011, Ann Coulter charmingly said, “As soon as they find the gay gene, guess who the liberal yuppies are gonna start aborting?”

Now, the Washington Post reports new research finds that, despite what some naysayers would like to believe, Dean Hamer was right all along. A gay gene does exist. In fact, there are two of them. Maybe — in fact, probably — even more than two.

Researchers at the Human Genome Project, an international scientific research group that examines human DNA, conducted a study on several pairs of gay brothers.

“Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice,” Michael Bailey of Northwestern University, who carried out the research, said. “Our findings suggest there may be genes at play, and we found evidence for two sets that affect whether a man is gay or straight.”

The study drew blood from 409 gay brothers and their heterosexual family members. Analysis confirmed that an area on the X chromosome does, indeed, have some impact on sexual orientation. It also confirmed another stretch of DNA on chromosome 8, which affects male sexual behavior.

“It is not completely determinative,” Bailey said. “There are certainly other environmental factors involved.”

Unfortunately for Ann Coulter’s imagined would-be parents thinking about aborting their gay fetuses, prenatal “gay gene” testing is currently not available and likely never will be.

“Although this could one day lead to a prenatal test for male sexual orientation, it would not be very accurate, as there are other factors that can influence the outcome,” Bailey said.

Qazi Rhaman, a psychologist at King’s College in London, told the UK Daily Mail that genes only account for about 40 percent of a person’s sexual orientation, and that there are likely many more genes involved than just the two that have been discovered so far. This would make developing a prenatal genetic test incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

“There is no real risk of anyone finding a ‘genetic test’ for sexual orientation based on these or any of the scientific findings about the genetics of sexuality from the past 20 years,” Rhaman said. “The reason is that there is no [single] gay gene.  You are not going to be able to develop a test to find them all.”

Homophobic would-be parents are very unnerved by this crushing scientific development, with one woman having a meltdown in the middle of the street, crying:

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  • hex0

    Who cares the reason we’re gay? All I know is that I didn’t choose to be attracted to men and it is society that shames me for a perfectly natural expression of sexuality.

    Scientists have been pathologizing gay men since forever, all this benefits is them and their pathetic ongoing attempts to cure us or wipe us all out.

  • Mezaien

    I will never change to “straight” I love men and a very black one to.

  • BrianZ

    @hex0: I think that there are a lot of reasonable people to whom additional scientific evidence will make a difference in their view of homosexuality. It’s already been shown that those who view being gay as a non-choice are more likely to support gay rights. It won’t matter to the Bible-beaters but, such is life.

    Really, I don’t think it is a winning proposition to side with the “gay is a choice” team in attacking and demonizing science over this.

  • hex0


    I am not siding with the “gay is a choice” side, being gay is not a choice. Ann Coulter might be right to an extent for once about this although I don’t think it’s as literal as she claims that you can screen embryos for a gay gene and abort if it comes up. Scientists have treated gay men as defects and whilst their experiments are not the same these days as the German scientists electrocuting, castrating gay men and dissecting their brains to find the cause of same sex attraction their aim is still to treat us as oddities who need to be deciphered.

  • KDub

    Bad news for gays too. If this is ever proven true, expect a medical “cure/treatment” to be in the works.

    @BrianZ: Wishful thinking. Do r a c i s t s, misogynists, anti-semites, etc. care that their least favorite people were born the way they were born? Nope.

  • tricky ricky

    the bible bangers will just say that it is a choice because you choose to remain gay and not change into a card carrying heterosexual like the bible tells you to. gays will never be given a break by the bible bangers. if they lose on the gay issue like they did on the slavery issue they fear their bible will be reduced to the meaningless book of religious twaddle that it is. bible approved antigay bias is the last acceptable biblical heresy.

  • hyhybt

    The ones I’ve run into who insist it’s a choice also insist that its being inborn would require that it be genetic (obviously false) and that its being genetic would mean it was determined by a single gene 100% of the time, so they wouldn’t be worried by this at all.

    On the other hand, they’re idiots, so why listen to them.

  • jbeau

    hex0, as a medical professional and someone who reads many scientific publications, I can assure you that the scientific community is VERY much on the side of the LGBT community and tend to be much more liberal than the average person, at least nowadays.

  • Daveliam

    @jbeau: Could not agree with you more.

  • vive

    Of course r a c i s m vanished when it was found that black people are born black, didn’t it? Well, didn’t it?

    Gay organizations are investing way too much into the born this way idea. It is a very bad basis on which to make an argument for civil rights.

  • michael mellor

    If there is a gay gene, does that mean that women should have the right to abort a baby with a gay gene? Many women – including our allies – would say yes.

  • hyhybt

    @michael mellor: aside from the explanation already in the article you appear not to have bothered reading, people who are anti-gay are likely to be anti-abortion. And those who are not anti-gay are unlikely to see an increased chance of their child turning out to be gay as a reason not to want it.

  • abuelo

    As a little kid I was told that queers were sinful, perverted freaks who chose to behave like that. We were demonized by church and society alike. If we wouldn’t straighten up by ourselves there were doctors who would help us. The threat of getting “helped” scared the shit out of me. All that demonizing was scary and confusing because I knew nothing could change my feelings. I managed to avoid the help but it made for hard, scary years as an adolescent. If I had known the genetic link back then it would have been a great relief. I’m really glad that kids now have science helping them understand their feelings.

  • ppp111

    With all due respect, michael mellor isn’t so far off. I can see christian evangelicals doing a complete 180 on abortion if there was ever a gay gene discovered in fetuses. As for progessives, there are quite a few who believe aborting a possibly gay baby as a show of mercy instead of having that child face a life of discrimination. Not as far-fetched as you might believe.

  • ppp111

    I doubt many antigay bigots will pay attention to the science of this. I’d prefer they not try to find it since it would make little difference.

  • hyhybt

    @ppp111: Time is against your idea. The parts of the world where large numbers of people could afford such a test, were it available right now, are generally the parts where persecution is both weakest and waning; by the time a baby born today in, say, Texas hits puberty, how much is really likely to be left? And of course the test isn’t available today, or anywhere near. Even if there were one for this, as the article says, it would only show a given person is more likely to be gay, not that they will be.

    The hateful evangelicals (and other likewise hateful people) are loud, but they’re not as numerous as they appear even within their own groups. Lots of people who think gay is sin like the gay people they know well enough, even if they remain against legal rights. (Yes, I know, but looking from within their mindset to predict their behavior.) Anyway, that kind is shrinking, and while a shriveled, hard core will probably remain for decades, again there’s io reason to think there will be enough in it for it to be a big concern.

  • stranded

    @KDub: I thought the same thing. Now we’re gonna get a bunch of quacks wanting to drug gays into heterosexuality.

  • KDub

    @stranded: Yep, and there will be a bunch of guys lined up to get that pill too. I’m picturing tumbleweeds rolling through gayborhoods and gay bars/clubs everywhere.

  • James Hart

    Unfortunately, what scientists believe can’t be done today, may happen one day in the future. I’m sure that most, if not all, scientists in 1300 A.D. believed the earth was flat. They may have even believed that we’d fall off the side of the Earth if we traveled too close to the horizon. And then, alas, they were proved wrong. Let’s hope that if they can identify and test for a “gay” gene before birth that people will be enlightened enough not to run to the nearest abortion clinic thinking, “I don’t want my son/daughter to live a sad and lonely life as a homosexual. I’d rather abort him/her than force him/her to be born into a hostile world.” Or: “I only want one child. And if I’m only going to have one child, then I’d rather have a straight child than a gay one because life would be so much easier for a straight child.”

  • sejjo

    I am 100% pure blood homosexual. I can assure you, I didn’t get that way because I learned it. I’m not sure I would call it ‘the gay gene’, but it is certainly biological and I was born with it. In fact, I’m sure it is more than biological in that I also feel it in my soul.

  • michael mellor

    Homosexual behavior can occur in men when women are not available, a form of homosexual behavior that is caused by environment.

  • hyhybt

    @James Hart: They didn’t really have science yet as such, but learned people have known the earth was spherical since long before 1300.

    @michael mellor: Desperate people do lots of things. That has no relevance whatsoever when scarcity is not an issue.

  • BrianZ

    @hex0: I began my post with ” I think that there are a lot of reasonable people to whom” and you respond with Ann Coulter? I think we are clearly discussing two very different type of people: The ones who carefully consider a subject and the data and those who cling to bigotry and hatred of the unknown because it’s easy.

    Let’s be 100% clear. We are never, ever, going to persuade the dedicated bigot that there is nothing wrong with being gay. Never. Using those people as a foil to attack science or to keep progress constrained is ludicrous. If we allowed fear of the bigot to rule we’d all still be in the closet.

  • Ben Dover

    @vive: LOL – I was thinking the same thing. Don’t black people paint themselves black just to annoy white [email protected]? … Oh wait, they don’t?

    And they can’t choose to be white. (With the arguable exception of Michael Jackson.)

    And yet, r a c i s m still exists … go figure!

    @michael mellor: When are YOU going to engage in “homosexual behavior”? Please try it sometime and give us a report!

  • DB75

    my concern when this happens has always been the same. no “cure” will be made for the already existing population. however, in utero will be an entirely new thing. watch the far right who opposes any sort of cloning or genetic alteration will be 100% behind a push to find a way to “correct” the mistake they see being created.

  • DB75

    @michael mellor: I disagree, sir. That is simply a man giving into his lust for release. A homosexual does not just seek a sexual release with one of the same sex. There is an emotional connection – the same with heterosexual couples. Hence the reason that orientation isn’t just about sex. It branches into aspects of the personality, as well.

  • Badabang

    Dean Hamer’s gay gene (Xq28) was confirmed many years ago by other genetic studies (Stella Hu, 1995 and Brian S. Mustanski, 2005). Michael Bailey (the author of this new study) made a similar gay gene confirmation study in 1999, but his conclusions were not consistent…

    Bailey’s new study still claims homosexuality is determined by other biological (neuroendocrinological) factors. The “in uterus” homosexuality development (the fetus nerve cells react to “in uterus” hormones and antigens, making the fetus gay, bisexual or transgender) is still the most favored theory on the biology of sexual orientation and geder identity. This thoery was suggested many years ago by Dick F. Swab (1990) with confirmation studies by Simon LeVay and Aicia Garcia-Falgueras in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

    There are dozens of studies that confirm the biology of sexual orientation and gender identity, but their findings are just appreciated among LGBT people.


    Based on what I know about the author of this study, J Michael Bailey, I’d be VERY cautious about trusting his methodology, conclusions, or ethics.

    “In an article coauthored with Aaron Greenberg, he suggested that allowing parents to choose the sexual orientation of their children is morally acceptable, provided the means used to accomplished that goal are themselves morally acceptable.[16] (For example, killing infants who will become homosexual would obviously be wrong. The acceptability of aborting “gay fetuses” or “straight fetuses” would depend on whether one believed that abortion, per se, is morally acceptable.)”

    Well, that’s clear then. Not at all mealymouthed. Nooo

    He has plenty of plenty other dodgy views about LGBTs.

    The travesty of “science” he perpetrated on the bisexual community with his “research” on the prevelance of male bisexuality. Which was widely reported and only later to be universally condemned as TERRIBLE science; sadly, not before much damage was done to that community.

    Plus the guy was reprimanded by his university for staging live sex shows in his class.

    He allegedly had sex with the transgender women he was studying

    I’m not saying this study is necesarally wrong, just that we ought to employ extreme caution whenever one of these studies come along

  • hyhybt

    @Ben Dover: not everyone is anti-gay for the same reasons. Some just don’t understand, and can be moved by better knowledge. Others don’t want to, don’t care, and are just going to be tgat way no matter what, but the rest are at least potentially reachable.

  • vive

    Well, it seems quite clear that pedophiles can’t choose not to be attracted to children either.

    This clearly shows the weakness of basing an argument for civil rights on anything other than the right of freedom of choice.

  • Hillers

    Even if a gay gene is identified, fundies tend not be very scientifically-inclined, and may just dismiss any such findings as part of some great liberal conspiracy. Likewise, even the ones who agree could just argue that addiction and alcoholism are also genetic, but that doesn’t mean you have to live your life as an addict/alcoholic if you modify your behavior.

  • Badabang


    Bailey’s dodgy views include: the right of parents to choose their children’s sexual orientation, the myth of lesbianism, the myth of male bisexuality and his theories that claim trangender identity is just a fetish desire (The Man Who Would Be Queen, 2003).

    Here’s link to “The Science of Gaydar” (2007) by David France with Bailey’s comments.

    ( – This article was controversial (2000’s were wild times) revealing the possibility that gay babies and straight babies can be made in labs. Bailey states in this article that parents should have the right to choose their children’s sexual orientation.

    By the way, if you want to read modern theories about the biology of sexual orientation, read “Gay, Straight and the Reason Why” (2012) by Simon LeVay.

  • Claude Tracy Griffin Jr

    WBG – asked: How old where you when you realized that you were different in some way?

    I knew, I was different when I was in 3rd grade.

    After a few girls approach me, and a group of my male buddies out in the play yard, Sept. 1978 in West Germany, on a American Military base. The girls said, “we think you, and your friend Van, are very cute, and we like you both!” A few minutes later it hit me, something was different about me. Because I quickly realized, I didn’t find any of the girls cute, or even pretty. However I found myself, saying to myself; “That my buddy Van, is cute,but not the girls!”

    It took me until 7th grade, to realize what gay even was. All I knew from third grade, and on ward, is I kept finding myself attracted to all of the boys, and never once towards girls. I kept this little secret to myself until my Sr year in high school.

  • Ben Dover

    Why is there apparently an unlimited amount of funding for this pointless “research”?

    The only other subject with an unlimited amount of funding is the (supposed) bad effects of drinking coffee.

    Every other week there seems to be a new “study” in the news about coffee, but they never find out much of anything bad about it.

    Who’s funding all this stuff, the Mormon church? (Right, Cam?)

  • vive

    This kind of article is an insult to gay people:

    To see why, just imagine some well-meaning but clueless white person telling us that we should respect black people because they can’t help being black, since they were born that way – implying that after all, nobody in their right mind would CHOOSE to be black. And imagine publicising all kinds of scientific studies explaining why people are born black, how their brains are different from those of white people, why they behave differently, etc., etc.

    There would be outrage and the article would rightly be attacked as paternalistic and the r word that cannot even be used in comments here. This is no different.

  • inbama

    @vive: To my knowledge, no scientist has suggested that the causes of disorders like pedophilia were anything other than psychological.

    Sexual Orientation is a naturally occurring attraction to either males or females.

    Race is primarily a social construct. There are no white, black or yellow brains, hearts, lungs, etc.

  • vive

    @inbama, since it seems clear that pedophilia isn’t a “choice,” its causes are really irrelevant if we are going to base civil rights on the flimsy basis of whether any particular attraction is a choice or not.

  • vive

    @inbama, so would you claim that there are gay hearts, lungs and brains? I know Le Vay claims there are gay brains, but his methods were highly suspect (he looked at people who died of HIV, which can affect brain matter, and he has some rather insulting stereotypical ideas that gay brains are effeminate).


    Gee this really puts the righwing nutbags in a pickle!

    You know damm well they would want to abort a baby with a Gay gene, how they gonna figger this one out?????????

  • 1EqualityUSA

    PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS, They’ll have to elect public stoning committees for the gay-gene laden DNA that is extracted from the womb, as “God would have it.”

  • Sebizzar

    @hex0: I care. I like finding out answers to things, I don’t like having to always wonder why are some people gay or straight or bi or asexual etc. It would be nice to finally have an answer that was 100% proven to be true. I know the religious nuts will always argue about it, that’s their job, but the majority of society is obviously becoming more and more accepting every day.

  • lcandela123

    This will mean nothing to Bible Thumpers. They live in a self-created alternate universe of steadfast denial. There is nothing that can penetrate their psyches, especially science, which is the spawn of Satan.

    I think their argument will go something like this: “God is testing our faith in him and in his divine word, as revealed in the King James Bible (and only the KJB heathens!) by tempting us with scientific evidence that is contrary to His holy word.”

    I remember the furious tap-dancing they did when Carbon 14 dating proved that the Shroud of Turin is a Medieval fake, circa 14th century. Oh, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! The great OZ has spoken!

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